What Does Love To The Neighbor Look Like? Part III

Leviticus 19:33-34 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

33 “Do not do bad things to foreigners living in your country. 34 You must treat them the same as you treat your own citizens. Love them as you love yourselves. Remember, you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God!”

The Book of Leviticus is not just a book of rules and unbending regulations. It sheds miraculous light and illumination on the tender and kind heart of God. It shows us some properties of the kingdom of LOVE. In these two verses, we can see the humanity and the face of the Savior. In here also is another lesson to be learned on how to LOVE your neighbor.

It is as if this Scripture is being taught from a hillside to a group of people by the Lord Jesus. Here is someone who teaches kingdom principles with compassion, with patience, and with understanding. But most of all, from a sense of authority from the essence of LOVE.

To paraphrase Verse 33: Do not be mean to people outside the Kingdom of God. Just because you have recently become citizens of heaven, does not mean you are above those who are still heathen and gentiles, your NEIGHBORS. Verse 34. Be kind and be gracious to these NEIGHBORS as you would act to your brethren who have believed and stepped into the Kingdom of God.

“Live together in peace with each other. Don’t be proud, but be willing to be friends with people who are not important to others. Don’t think of yourself as smarter than everyone else”  (Romans 12:16 ERV)

Verse 34 continued. Love your NEIGHBOR as yourself. For this is the second greatest commandment of Jesus. Do not forget that YOU were once a stranger to God, His people, and His kingdom. YOU were once wandering around in the desert without a clue who God was!. And by the way, YOU did not care one whit either about anything associated with My Kingdom.

“All these great people continued living with faith until they died. They did not get the things God promised his people. But they were happy just to see those promises coming far in the future. They accepted the fact that they were like visitors and strangers here on earth. When people accept something like that, they show they are waiting for a country that will be their own” (Hebrews 11:13-14 ERV).

Paraphrase verse 34 continued. I AM the ONE, the Faithful and True LORD who says these things. This is not a suggestion. This is a commandment. These principles and teachings are as firm and as set as concrete in my kingdom. Those who do not abide in them cannot dwell forever with me.

So we can see that LOVE to THE NEIGHBOR takes many forms and many shapes. But the over-riding principle is the essence of thinking and considering of OTHERS before we place our own SELF-interests as supreme.


World Refugee Day June 20, 2018

Today is World Refugee Day. This is a repost of a previous blog entry. I have since felt God calling me to intercede for Myanmar (Burma).

Posted Jan 28th, 2005, 12:24 by Adventures In Faith on Prophetic

From: Intercessors Network mailing # 396 January, 2005 Intercessors.Network@Comhem.se (Please lift up in your prayers as God leads you); 160 ARRESTED AT PROTEST AGAINST MYANMAR’S TREATMENT OF CHRISTIANS Malaysian police arrested 160 citizens of Myanmar (Burma) Monday, Jan. 17, for protesting outside their country’s embassy against the military junta’s alleged discrimination against Christians. Authorities detained the demonstrators after they chanted anti-junta slogans for about 30 minutes and defied police orders to disperse, said a spokeswoman for the Malaysian human rights group, Suaram. The protesters could be charged with violating a rule requiring a police permit for gatherings of more than three people. Those without valid immigration documents could be deported. Police confirmed the arrests but provided no details. While Myanmar, ruled by the military since 1962, is predominantly Buddhist, the population also includes Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and animists. MYANMAR’S CHIN CHRISTIANS CALL FOR PRAYER AS PERSECUTION CONTINUES Chin Christians in southern Myanmar (Burma) are calling for a day of prayer Sunday, Jan. 30, as persecution continues in the area. The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) is also calling for protests against the oppression at embassies around the world. On Monday, Jan. 24, more than 400 exiled Chins gathered near the Burmese embassy in New Delhi, India, to condemn the systematic persecution of Chin Christians by the ruling military regime in their homeland. In a recent example, government forces defaced and then destroyed a 50-foot concrete cross on a hilltop in Matupi township Monday, Jan. 3. The cross had been in that location for two decades as a testimony to the people’s faith in Christ. Since the mid-1990s government forces have destroyed at least half a dozen crosses and several churches in Chin state. In many cases, these have been replaced with Buddhist pagodas. The CHRO believes that the destruction of crosses and church buildings and the persecution of Christian religious leaders is designed “to crush the will and psychology of Chin Christians.”

Today it is reported that nearly 70 million people have been displaced through war, persecution, and corruption flowing from the military junta. There is a horrendous refugee crisis in Myanmar. As God leads you, please pray for the people of Myanmar.


We in the church have a tendency to misread and apply the improper use of the second great commandment. As we discussed in Part 1;

“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”  (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Jesus repeated this commandment while on earth;

He said, “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”  Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:36-37). So then this is the GREATEST COMMANDMENT. All others are secondary.

But Jesus went on to say “And the second command is like the first: Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself” (Mat 22:39). So we in this discussion we are looking at this second command. How should a child of God follow this command “to love your neighbor as yourself”?.

It Takes Wisdom and Sound Judgment to Love the Neighbor

We cannot love the neighbor so much that we give them all our worldly processions we own to express that love, do we? No, of course not. “I am Wisdom, and I have insight; I have knowledge and sound judgment” (Proverbs 8:12 GNB).

When Looking at your Neighbor Always Look Up!

When we are pondering love to the neighbor, the Christian first looks up and asks themselves a question. Will this love toward the neighbor extend the welfare and progress of the Lord’s kingdom? What I do, will it in the process bring HIM Glory? By doing this we are honoring the GREAT and FIRST COMMANDMENT to “Love the Lord your God”. Everything else is secondary, including the neighbor. In fact, that FIRST COMMANDMENT includes our own families!.

Not Peace, but a Sword That Divides

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; your worst enemies will be the members of your own family. “Those who love their father or mother more than me are not fit to be my disciples; those who love their son or daughter more than me are not fit to be my disciples. Those who do not take up their cross and follow in my steps are not fit to be my disciples. Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it” (Matthew 10:34-39).

This may on the surface appear to be a contradiction. In one instance we are told the second great commandment is to love the neighbor. But in this verse, Jesus firmly established that our primary consideration in our Christian walk is this action to “Love the Lord your God”. Everything else is chopped liver! Forget about it! This is everything. This is all that matters and all that has any lasting value!

In the Bible, there is Actually a Hierarchy of Love to Neighbor

1. Love to The Brethren

“Love each other in a way that makes you feel close like brothers and sisters. And give each other more honor than you give yourself”  (Rom 12:10 ERV)

Why is this at the top of the hierarchy? Because we love the brethren because of what is found in each and every one of them. And that is God Himself! And where God is dwelling that where heaven is found! And heaven is our eternal home and our hoped-for destiny.

That is why there are TWO tablets to the Ten Commandments. One is devotion to God. And the second is to why God. Why God created people was for a dwelling place. Other Christians are our fellow sojourners and travelers upon the earth until we reach our destination and the dwelling place of the Most High God!.

“We are only strangers traveling through this world like our ancestors. Our time on earth is like a passing shadow, and we cannot stop it”  
(1Chronicles 29:15 ERV)

“All these great people continued living with faith until they died. They did not get the things God promised his people. But they were happy just to see those promises coming far in the future. They accepted the fact that they were like visitors and strangers here on earth”  (Hebrews 11:13 ERV)

So we can again see why there are TWO stones in the Ten Commandments. It could be said that one stone is for God to have an eternal dwelling place in us. And the other stone is for us to have an eternal dwelling place in God! God is the highest command given by Jesus, and the neighbor is the second.

2. The Next Level of “The Neighbor” is the “Gentiles”, those that Know Not God.

The Bible is full of instruction and wisdom on dealing with our fellow earth occupants. Anyone who has ever been in a traffic jam can understand people are messy, and sometimes downright dangerous! As J. Vernon McGee used to say, “This is where the rubber meets the road, my friends!”. There are many Scriptures to help us discern the “neighbor”. As we mentioned before we must use discernment and wisdom for each neighbor we encounter. We cannot go blindly accepting people at face value. We live in a world where hell is boiling up, and where heaven is reaching down. That is a very real clash and conflict going on all the time! Samuel Brengle the first American General of the Salvation Army said, “The spiritual battle we are involved in on this earth is as real as the Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of Gettysburg!

“The ruler of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News—the message about the divine greatness of Christ. Christ is the one who is exactly like God”  (2 Corinthians 4:4 ERV)

The forces of hell are constantly trying to reach up, pull down and destroy God. So this Scripture tells us that the unbelieving neighbors (“gentiles”) can become influenced (“blinded the minds”) by the forces of hell to cause carnage and mayhem. They unwittingly become agents of hell. This is why we are told;

“Listen! I am sending you, and you will be like sheep among wolves. So be smart like snakes. But also be like doves and don’t hurt anyone. Be careful! There are people who will arrest you and take you to be judged. They will whip you in their synagogues”  (Matthew 10:16-17 ERV).

So the Christian must use wisdom and discernment when dealing with the concept of “love to the neighbor”! We should not be lulled into our “neighbor” going unchecked in the evil nature that we all possess. One example is Adolf Hitler. The German people loved him unconditionally and gave him the power to become very evil. This, in turn, enabled him to hurt and destroy untold multitudes of “neighbors”.

Since God loves all people, to have them hurt and destroyed violates the first GREAT COMMANDMENT to love God. All others commands are secondary!. This is why in order to follow the SECOND command “to love your neighbor” you must always have in view the FIRST GREAT COMMANDMENT.

Amen. May His name be blessed.


Before we can begin any discussion about how to love the neighbor in prayer we must look at two Scriptures, in particular,

“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”  (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Jesus repeated this commandment while on earth;

He said, “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”  Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:36-37).

These two Scriptures lay the Foundation and Ground Work for all Prayer

Why? Because they are in turn drawn from the truth found in the holiest document this earth has ever seen. It is called the Decalogue and it is also referred to as the Ten Commandments. This is the only document ever written by the finger of God. It is the blueprint of the Kingdom of God, drawn from the very essence of God Himself – LOVE.

LOVE Comes From GOD

“Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child. And so everyone who loves knows God”. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love”  (1Jn 4:7-8).

LOVE shows us the commandments of kingdom living. Which is the responsibility of LOVE while we are on this earth. Jesus, God as a human being came to SHED MORE LIGHT on the Ten Commandments. For He said;

“Don’t think that I have come to destroy the Law of Moses or the teaching of the prophets. I have come not to destroy their teachings but to give full meaning to them” (Mat 5:17). There you go – TO GIVE FULL MEANING.

So as shown above Jesus answered the question; “…which command in the law is the most important?”. He said the first and foremost command is to LOVE GOD. And the second command is to LOVE MAN or your neighbor. So how does the child of God or the person of His church go about this command in wisdom and in truth? We must think spiritually and not earthly.

Fig 1:1 click to enlarge

From figure 1:1 we can see if we think naturally (not spiritually) toward the neighbor we err and come to the wrong conclusions. Our prayers and our concerns toward our neighbor is essentially wasted energy. It is not in line with the Divine design that is outlined for us in the Bible. And the Bible is a spiritual book. It is the TRUTH written down in a form for us to understand, comprehend and to follow that TRUTH from the LIGHT given us, is it not?

So this brings us to the real kicker. The Lord’s prayer. It sheds even more light on the Ten Commandments;

The Lord’s Prayer – When You Pray

“So this is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, we pray that your name will always be kept holy.  We pray that your kingdom will come— that what you want will be done here on earth, the same as in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).

“I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I to you, you will produce plenty of fruit. But separated from me you won’t be able to do anything”  (John 15:5).

“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also certain of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring” (Act 17:28)

From these two verses alone can see we can do nothing ourselves. In HIM we live, move, breath, think and HAVE OUR BEING. So as Jesus said, “…separated from me you won’t be able to do anything”. So when we pray the very first thing to realize is that in order for two to hook up they first must be agreed.

LOVE Does Not Seek Its Own, Neither do We in Prayer For the Neighbor

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.  Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it.  Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth.  Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits”.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

The Example of the Rosary Beads

I know a family in the Republic of the Philippines. The father had abandoned them. Two of the children are orphans. The mother is supporting six people on a teachers salary of around $200 a month. She is not only the teacher but janitor and works extra hours as a student tutor. She is struggling to put the three children on to college so they will have decent jobs and a decent life.

She told me she is exhausted. The pressure and burden of life are making her despair. She wonders if she can go on. She is afraid the children will not finish college for lack of funding.

I felt God was impressing something on my mind in wisdom. I said to her do you have rosary beads? (85% of the Philippines is of the Catholic faith). She said, of course, all devout Catholics have them. I said get them and I will show you how to pray using kingdom principles. I said get a pen and paper and write down the following;

Bead #1: Prayer that God will give you what to pray according to His will. Go until you can not think of anything else.

Bead #2: Pray for all the people you can think that come to your mind. The people you work with. The taxi driver. The president. Whatever. And not yourself and direct family. Go until you can not think of anything else.

Bead #3: Pray for your family and friends. Pray for their needs. Do not pray yourself. Go until you can not think of anything else.

Bead #4: Pray for yourself and your requests. “Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have”  (Philippians 4:6)

At first, she protested and rejected the idea. “But my life and my burden are what needs prayer!, I need relief!”. I just said will you try it?. She said she would try.

The next time I spoke to her she said she and the children had tried the rosary beads thing praying together. It seems to have transformed their lives. They seem happy. They said they found the peace they never knew they could experience. The burden seems to have been lifted. They have found the strength to live day to day.

Well, they had found a kingdom spiritual truth!

Finding The Hidden Spiritual Meaning of Psalms 78

03/24/2018 Leslie Lyons

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:”  (Act 10:34)

While reading this Psalm (78), God gave illumination to my mind to see the hidden spiritual meaning contained within it, as the residents of heaven read it. It paints a beautiful picture of LOVE. God’s LOVE is constantly calling every single human being while they are on this earth into His kingdom.

Finding The Hidden Spiritual Meaning of Psalms 78

I Asaph, have something important to share with you. I will tell you a story using images. Which has been passed down from generation to generation. To God’s glory and honor, we wish to share this wonderful story. For He set up a new standard of moral behavior among men. And that we should teach our children these precepts. To show them that God is good, and not to forget the many blessings He bestows upon us. That they will not seek their own way, and their own good. But live life according to these precepts, and not to turn away from them. Do not look at those who refuse to follow God’s Word. And ignore His goodness and the care and love he provides. He takes care of His children, even in the midst of many evils and trials. He will deliver them through them all. His love is a standard and high tower of protection. His divine presence gives light and understanding, in good times and in bad. His Word brings forth love and faith and is available to all. It is a source of living water. It brings forth faith and contentment, peace and security. Yet, for those who ignore His Word and it’s precepts, they are lost and without hope. And they err further by seeking their own needs and ignoring God and others. They even sneer at the concept of a living God. They ask can this invisible God put food on my table? I do not understand all this religious nonsense. Can He provide practical things that I need and desire? God is aware of their thoughts. He sees into the heart and allows them to continue on their crooked path. God is saddened by their hardened hearts. He has tried to reach out to them in His love toward the whole human race. Many times, and through many opportunities, He has called them to Himself. He has sent angels and people to show and tell them practical truths and wisdom of His character, and His love for them. He sent a taste of heaven and showed them a better way. But they refused to listen, and they began to seal off heaven. They became as beasts. Their insanity increased. They were headed for disaster. Their self-deceptions soon enveloped their entire families and friends. They continued in their quest for self-fulfillment. God did not interfere. They were soon consumed with their greed for more and were not filled. Hell descended down upon them and sealed their fate. Now they hated God. They have shunned His marvelous grace. They worshiped vain idols and wasted their years on earth. God then separated Himself from them. At times, they remembered their creator. And they considered the faith they had heard in days past. But they thought of themselves as good people. They assured themselves that they were worthy. But their heart was not pure. And in reality, they had never made a commitment to the Lord. But God’s love would not let Him forget them. Time and time again He tenderly called them. He did not take to heart the rejection that He suffered. However, they continued to decline his overtures. They simply turned their backs and walked away. It did not even enter their minds to consider all the blessings God had given them. Or all the times He had called them away from this world. They had ignored His mercy. Of His goodness, they could not comprehend. Their malice and venom toward God were self-evident. Their appetite was only in the flesh, and what it could provide. All their good and moral principles were destroyed. Anything to do with God’s kingdom had vanished. Any chance for redemption was gone. Their ears and hearts would not listen. Their evil desires drew themselves closer to the hells. They have fallen so far from the truth, they somehow considered themselves to be in the truth. They have no connection to heaven or to God’s people on earth. The people of faith can lean on and rely on God. He tenderly leads them, and they find safety. But those who reject God have no anchor. He brings His people to His home. Heaven is prepared for them. They are brought into heaven with blessings and honor. God shares everything He has with them. But those who have rejected God will lose everything. For they hate God and all his moral precepts. It saddened God to see such a waste of desolation. Oh, how He longed and wished things could be different. So He took on the form of a man. He left His home in tranquility and dwelt among men in the earth because of His love for them. He gave up His sovereignty so that He might save. His glory He did hide. He allowed Himself to enter into temptation. He became just another man. His passion and desire were to redeem and save men. It was His only purpose. He desired that men should come to Him. He wanted to make a way, for those who did not have a way. He then created a way, and it became so. All the evils belonging to the hells that were against His love and purpose, He subdued and put back into order. He refused to come as the sovereign Lord of the universe, but instead took the form of a man. He chose to build a church of people to share his Love. This church would include anyone, especially the unworthy. He built this church to proclaim the beautiful truths of heaven and to share it’s glory. He took the form of a natural man with earthly wisdom, and filled Him with all truth from heavenly wisdom. The great Lord of heaven walked among men in holiness, innocence and truth. He served the people as a servant serves his master. He shared His life with all His ability and power.

Why “Sola Fide” or By Faith Alone to Obtain Salvation Does Not Hold Water

Taken from Revelation 14:20 is a clear example Why “Sola Fide” or By Faith Alone to Obtain Salvation Does Not Hold Water

Verse 20: And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even to the bridles of the horses, for the space of a thousand, six hundred stadia (Rev 14:20)

“And the winepress was trodden”. In the previous verse, the clusters of grapes which signify LOVE and CHARITY were cast into the “winepress”. Or what is the same love to God and love to man. Or what is the same again how well did the Christian adhere to the 2 tablets of the Ten Commandments while in the world?. The pressure of the winepress applied (“trodden”) reveals what was the LOVE of their lives? Was their heart pointed to the love of God and His Kingdom or the love of themselves and the world? This applies to the church as a whole as well to the individual Christian. This is very much like the story told in the Book of Job in the Old Testament. Job was thrown into the “winepress” of pressure and pain. The purpose was to reveal what was in the deepest part of his heart?. It was revealed and then openly exposed. For through the pressure of the “winepress” the “fruit” is either LOVE of SELF or LOVE of GOD. In this verse, it will surface, be measured and judged by the Lord. And this can only be done by the Lord through his WORD (“who is worthy to open the seal?).

This is judgment. This is sorting and separation. This is why the Book of Revelation foretells the closing out of the old church dispensation and the beginning of a new church. “And I saw a new heaven (church in heaven) and a new earth (church on earth). For the first heaven (church in heaven) and the first earth (church on earth) had passed away. And the sea no longer is”. Rev 21:1. May I say that of all the church dispensations that have existed on earth, this new church is the crown glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was His passion of the cross. It is the reason He came. The potter forms and shapes the vessel to contain His glory forever. Amen.

For the Lord clearly said; “Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it” Matthew 7:13

This is why the doctrine of faith plus grace plus nothing to obtain salvation does not hold water. Or what is held in the reformed church today “Sola Fide” translated means “by faith alone”. The WORD clearly teaches it takes a constant act and effort on our parts to obtain salvation. Although on our own we can do nothing, it is through the “blood” (TRUTH of the WORD) and the “cross” (the LOVE of GOD) we find the power to truly obtain our salvation.

“Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ)” Philippians 2:12 AMP.

For as the Lord Jesus told each one of the seven churches;

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His throne” Revelation 3:21